Local Government | Civics: Links to History
Updated July 22, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Links to History: Local Government
- source: Gianni Dagli Orti, Corbis/Bettmann
- 1066 Normans conquer England and change name of shires (local administrative divisions) to counties.
- 1565 Saint Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, is founded by the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.
- 1607 Jamestown becomes the first permanent English settlement in the New World.
- 1620 English settlers who had sailed to North America on the Mayflower write the Mayflower Compact.
- source: Hulton Archive, Getty Images Inc. - Hulton Archive Photos
- 1629 The Massachusetts Bay Company is founded. As a private company, it governs the Massachusetts Bay Colony for the next fifty years.
- 1682 William Penn founds city of Philadelphia.
- 1600s-1700s Middle and southern colonies develop counties. Northern colonies prefer the town as the local governing unit.
- source: SuperStock, Inc.
- 1800s As the United States expands to the west, more counties are established.
- 2000s There are more than 3,100 counties in the United States.